India need to show they can match Australia with the bat on this placid Sydney Cricket Ground pitch when play resumes on Day 3 of the 4th Test.
Australia declared at a massive 572, leaving the India batsmen with plenty to do with their own willows again, after their bowlers conceded the fourth straight score of 500 or more in the Australian first innings.
"On such wickets a fast bowler needs to concentrate more on his line and length," said Mohammed Shami, who picked up five wickets. "The batsmen can play easy shots on a slow wicket and it is a challenge for us to get them out.
"It's not fair to say that we have struggled because if they are scoring 500 runs, we are scoring 400-plus too. It's just that we haven't been able to click at the right moment."
While India bowled reasonably well – comparatively of course – on Day 2, Australia still scored runs at will to take full advantage of the position of strength they found themselves in after a flawless batting performance on Tuesday.
Australia also showed better prowess with the ball in the final 25 overs of the day that India had to bat out, with Mitchell Starc, in particular, troubling the batsmen. Putting the ball in the right place consistently and showing patience is a virtue that the Indian bowlers still haven't quite figured out yet.
"The Australian bowlers are playing at home," added Shami trying to explain why the home team's bowlers have been head and shoulders ahead of their counterparts. "They are used to bowling on these wickets and know exactly which areas to bowl in
"We were trying to do it as well but they batted really well and built their innings well. We tried to maintain the right length but missed at times."
Having already picked up the crucial wicket of Murali Vijay, Steven Smith will now hope his bowlers can start that wicket-train on Day 3 morning.
"Starc was outstanding," said Smith. "He bowled a couple of quick spells. That's the way Mitchell bowls best. He likes bowling short spells and it is always difficult for the batsman if someone is bowling at 150 to you.
"If we had some luck we would have had a couple of more wickets. Hopefully he can come back stronger for each spell. We are looking forward to that aggression from him.
"This is not the pitch where you can blast the wickets out. We will have to be patient and build a lot of pressure."
For India, KL Rahul, opening the innings, and Rohit Sharma, batting at No.3, played pretty well to ensure there would be no more damage after Vijay was sent packing in the first over by Starc, and it will be up to the two right-handers, battling for a place in the Test side, to put on the kind of partnership that Australia managed a few times in the first innings, particularly via David Warner-Chris Rogers and Steven Smith-Shane Watson.
Where to Watch Live
Day 3 of the 4th Test match is set to begin at 10.30 am local time (5 am IST, 11.30 pm GMT, 6.30 pm ET) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 (in Hindi) and Star Sports HD1. Audience in India can also watch the match online via free live streaming on Starsports.com or via the Starspors Live Pro option..
Watch Day 3 live in Australia on Channel 9, while the option to live stream is on Cricket Australia Live or the Cricket Australia Live App. Audience in the UK can catch the fourth Test match on Sky Sports 2, or via live stream on Sky Go or Watch Sky Sports.
Day 3 can be watched by viewers in the USA on Willow TV or live streamed on Willow TV Online. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can catch all the day three action live on OSN or via live streaming online on OSN Play.